Ringmen, also called bid-spotters or floor staff, work with the auctioneer to watch for bids in the crowd, make bidders aware of their position in the bidding, and encourage bidders to raise their bid.
Professional charity auction floor staffs are more than just bid-spotters. They are highly trained and entertaining salespeople whose goal is to encourage the bidding not only during the live charity auction but the silent auction as well. Most benefit auctions see dramatic increases in their revenues with professional ringmen to assist the charity auctioneer.
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Before the live charity auction even begins, the floor staff can contribute to the management of the silent auction items. They have the ability to promote items that are not receiving the attention and the bids that they deserve. They will ensure that the silent auction runs smoothly and closes correctly.
During the live charity auction, professional floor staff increases the excitement and energizes the crowd. Their focus is on identifying bidders and encouraging them to increase their bids. They also show their gratitude to the winning bidders.
Some nonprofit organizations attempt to do these jobs themselves, forcing their staff and volunteers to be working during the charity auction. But when professional floor staff is on the job, the organization's staff and volunteers no longer have to work and usually start buying at the fundraising auction, increasing the number of bidders.
Most charity auctioneers can provide their own floor staff for your charity auction. Make sure to ask them about it when you hire your auctioneer, it will dramatically change your event.